There are a lot of Korean Dramas out there and I’ve had the pleasure of watching quite a few over the years. While some are entertaining and easy to watch, others can feel very average and forgettable. So, what is your review on it is okay not to be okay?
Every once in a while, one comes along that stands out from the pack. Bringing some quality characters and a consistently evolving narrative, It’s Okay To Not Be Okay is better than okay – it’s a wonderful drama.
The series has an original and heart-warming premise with excellent character progression and interesting themes.
It’s not easy to portray mental health issues but this drama does a great job depicting this in its rawest form, helped along by some impressive acting from the entire cast.
My Review on It is Okay not to be Okay
The writing was also out of this world. The fairy-tale analogies and comparisons made me look at folklore literature in a completely different way. I also loved the character development in this drama.
Moon-young was a cold woman at first but once you light a tree, the wildfire only grows from there. The back stories of the patients in OK Psychiatric Hospital were also all very important to the deep storyline of mental health and healing, each one being very emotional and moving.
There’s seriously nothing to hate. Once you actually get to know the characters and watch them grow in front of you firsthand, you have nothing to complain about. You just have to understand them to enjoy it because if you don’t, you’ll label Moon-young as a controlling person, Gang-tae as a scaredy-cat, and Sang-tae as a fragile and puny older brother.
It is Okay not to be Okay Story Line
The story revolves around brothers Moon Kang-Tae and Moon Sang-Tae. They have lived alone since they were very young. After their mother passed away, Kang-Tae has been doing the best he can, protecting and looking after his older brother.
While working in a psychiatric hospital, he meets famous and antisocial Ko Moon-Young who is a famous children’s book writer. The series follows the trio as they face their dark past, slowly peeling away the surface layers to reveal deep traumas they have been living with since childhood.
It’s Okay To Not Be Okay certainly doesn’t shy away from portraying important mental health issues and it does so in a very natural way. From emotional and physical abuse to learning difficulties, the drama tackles these perfectly with one message in mind. Just like the title itself, it is okay to not be okay and to seek help, whether professionally or from the support of friends and family.
Aesthetics of It is Okay not to be Okay
Aesthetically, the series uses a range of impressive animation through its 16 episodes, mainly during the narration of fairy tales. From hand-drawn to stop motion, these are a clever addition to the series which makes it even more special.
It’s also worth mentioning the beautiful imagery too, with some great scenery of the country and an impressive set depicting the cursed mansion. Let’s also not forget Moon-Young’s extravagant outfits which are impressive and compliment so well with her personality. She reminded me a little of Jang Man-Wol (IU) from Hotel Del Luna, whom she shares similar characteristics with.
There is a strong sense of family and friendship which plays a major part in the show as the trio help each other become better people and finally face the demons of their past. It is not an easy journey for any of them, but how they get there is heart-warming and touching, thanks to some great writing for this premise.
What is Your Review on It Is Okay not to be Okay
They also have excellent chemistry on-screen which is helped by some skillful performances from the actors. I really hope they will collect awards later this year as this would certainly be well deserved.
Netflix is bringing more and more K-Dramas to their platform and they really have made a great choice with It’s Okay To Not Be Okay. It has plenty of drama, humour, romance and important themes to make this series one of the best available on the platform this year. This should please anyone looking for an intriguing and heart-warming story of love and friendship.
The development of its story and characters is impressive and it’s been a pleasure following the adventure of this unlikely trio. I think it’s fair to say they’ve now become some of my favourite characters out of all the different Korean Dramas I have watched so far!
11 Reasons to Watch ‘It is Okay not to be Okay’
Here are some of the reasons you should take time and watch ‘It is Okay not to be Okay’ today.
- It has very attractive actors.
- To see what Ko Mun-Yeong wears.
- Brings or covers out the issues of Mental Illness.
- There is Mystery in the drama.
- There are so many K-Drama Reunions.
- Unrealistic Chemistry Between the two leads.
- The great message being shared.
- The side characters.
- Kim Mi-Kyung.
- The awesome sets.
- Focus on Austism
Three adults traumatised by cases of parental abuse and murder when they were kids learn to accept other people into their hearts and overcome their life-altering bad memories in the fairy tale romance It’s Okay to Not Be Okay. Starring the charming duo of Kim Soo-hyun and Seo Ye-ji as a pair of star-crossed lovers.
The Korean drama series aired its final episode on tvN on August 9, and is streaming worldwide in its entirety on Netflix
At a time when mental health issues are rising alongside the global pandemic, a romance centred around mental illness and trauma might just be the catharsis you need.
However, if you still need convincing, here are ten reasons to watch it!
It has very attractive actors
It’s Okay to Not Be Okay stars two of South Korea’s most attractive actors: Seo Ye-ji stars as Ko Mun-yeong, a children’s book author with antisocial personality disorder, and Kim Soo-hyun as Moon Gang-tae, a habitual caretaker who works as a nurse at a psychiatric hospital while taking care of his older brother who has autism.
Kim Soo-hyun is Korea’s highest-paid actor and IOTNBO marks his first starring role after being discharged from the South Korean military. Not only are the two actors stunning alone, but onscreen together they somehow make each other seem even more beautiful.
To see what Ko Mun-yeong wears
A large portion of why I eagerly await the new episodes every Sunday is to see what Ko Mun-yeong is going to wear. Mun-yeong is a highly successful children’s author and the inheritor of a large fortune, and it shows in her wardrobe. Every episode features at least one designer outfit that will make you audibly gasp.
Brings or covers out the issues of Mental Illness
The entire series revolves around mental illness and neurodiversity with a major setting in the series being the OK Psychiatric Hospital that Gang-tae works at and in which Mun-yeong’s father resides.
Mun-yeong herself is diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder and her character demonstrates many of the clinical traits seen in real people with ASPD, while avoiding some of the most inaccurate and stigmatising features often portrayed in media.
She feels little remorse for her actions, is wildly impulsive, can be aggressive and violent, and struggles with empathising with those around her. She is not shown as evil or malignant, and the show never suggests that she has no emotions (a stereotype common in media surrounding ASPD).
In fact, Mun-yeong feels everything very strongly and struggles to hide her emotions. Personality disorders usually manifest in childhood, so I anticipate the remaining episodes will examine Mun-yeong’s trauma and lead to at least a bit of healing.
Another main character, Moon Sang-tae (Gang-Tae’s older brother or “hyung” in Korean), is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He struggles with understanding nuances, has difficulty controlling his emotions, has a fixation with dinosaurs and children’s books, and is shown studying a chart of facial expressions so that he can recognise other people’s emotions.
While not portrayed as exceptionally bright, Sang-tae is a brilliant artist who is able to largely navigate the world on his own. He works part-time at a pizza shop, handles public transportation with ease. He is not helpless by any means, and his character seems to deeply desire greater independence.
In a press conference promoting IOTNBO, the actor who portrays Sang-tae, Oh Jung-se stated:
“There’s a line from the drama that says, ‘There are more patients out there who aren’t wearing hospital gowns.’ If you meet someone like Sang-tae, who is on the autism spectrum, on the street, I think it would be nice if people could think ‘I would like to be with that person’ instead of ‘I would like to help that person.’”
There is Mystery in the drama.
Like a dark fairytale, IOTNBO reveals deeper layers for every character with each episode. The greatest mystery is what caused Mun-yeong to become the person she is today. While I won’t give spoilers, you’ll be on the edge of your seat as you play detective and psychologist through each passing episode.
There are so many K-Drama Reunions!
Kim Soo-hyun and Kim Chang-wan were BFFs in My Love From Another Star
Oh Jung-se and Kim Mee-kyung were in Plus Nine Boys together
If you watched Netflix’s Romance is a Bonus Book, you’ll remember the cute office couple of Kang Ki-doong and Park Gyu-young
One of the most popular K-Dramas in recent years, the historical Hwarang features Kim Chang-wan and Seo Ye-ji
Unrealistic Chemistry Between the two leads
The chemistry between our two leads is unreal. While their relationship seems to start from a dangerous place, as the story progresses, viewers will discover how entangled their lives are. They act as each other’s perfect match, but whether that match is referring to the match that ignites an explosion is yet to be seen. Gang-tae is able to calm Mun-yeong’s emotional chaos, while Mun-yeong offers Gang-tae freedom he has never had before. When they are together, the two can finally have sincere smiles, instead of the smiles they fake around others.
The great message being shared
While IOTNBO is a romance, the core focus of the show is on healing. Each character, including the side characters, begin the series as complicated and hurt people. It seems that the show is leading up to each of the characters finding a bit of peace and recovery.
The Side Characters
While the main three cast members make up the bulk of the show, four side characters stand out: two of Gang-Tae’s friends and Mun-Yeong’s Publisher and Art-Director.
Park Kyu-young plays Nam Ju-ri, a kind nurse at the OK Psychiatric Hospital and Gang-tae’s childhood friend with a not-so-secret secret: she’s in love with Gang-tae.
Kang Ki-doong plays Jo Jae-soo, Gang-tae’s best friend/sidekick, that follows the brothers every time they move. Jae-soo seems to understand that he will never be as important to Gang-tae as Sang-tae is, but strives to be a supportive friend, even hiring Sang-tae in his pizza shop.
Kim Joo-hun plays the 38-year-old CEO of Mun-yeong’s publishing company, Lee Sang-in. He seems to be protective over his star author and maybe holds romantic feelings for her.
Park Jin-joo plays over worked and underpaid Art Director, Yoo Seung-jae. She is a breath of fresh air and realism, being aware of Mun-yeong’s difficult personality and the irresponsibility of her company’s CEO.
If you are an avid K-Drama fan, you will instantly recognise Ju-ri’s mother Kang Soon-Deok. Actress Kim Mi-kyung seems to be in EVERYTHING, usually playing a nice ahjumma or a character’s mother. Without fail, if Kim Mi-kyung is in the scene, she seems to steal it!
The Awesome Sets
From the tiny apartment shared by the Moon brothers at the beginning of the series to the mid-century modern inspired OK Psychiatric Hospital to Mun-yeong’s family’s sprawling dark fairytale mansion, every scene in IOTNBO is set within a backdrop that tells a story. The colour palettes of each location add to the emotional weight of not only each scene but also the emotional weight of each character’s story.
Focus on Autism
There’s a severe shortage of K-Dramas with autistic characters. The most recent one was ‘Good Doctor’ and that aired back in 2013, so this is long overdue! Moon Sang-tae (Oh Jung-se) is on the autism spectrum and is frequently misunderstood. The best way to combat misguided preconceptions is to simply learn more. Sang-tae will definitely win over your heart with his pure innocence and bright smile.
It is Okay not to be Okay Awards and Nominations
This is a list of the awards this drama has been nominated in or won in 2020 and in 2021.
|Brand of the Year Awards||2020||18th||Actor of the Year||Kim Soo-hyun||Nominated|
|Actress of the Year||Seo Yea-ji||Won|
|Daejeon Visual Art Tech Awards||2nd||Visual of the Year Award (Special Video)||It’s Okay to Not Be Okay||Won|
|Asia Artist Awards||5th||Grand Prize (Daesang)||Kim Soo-hyun||Won|
|Best Artist Award||Seo Yea-ji||Won|
|AAA Hot Issue Award||Kim Soo-hyun||Won|
|Art of the Year Awards[I]||3rd||N/A||It’s Okay to Not Be Okay||Won|
|APAN Star Awards||2021||7th||Grand Prize (Daesang)||Kim Soo-hyun||Pending|
|Best Drama||It’s Okay to Not Be Okay||Pending|
|Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries||Seo Yea-ji||Pending|
|Best Supporting Actor||Oh Jung-se||Pending|
|Popular Star Award, Actor||Kim Soo-hyun||Won|
|Popular Star Award, Actress||Seo Yea-ji||Won|
The story portrays both the elements of Romance as well Suspense brilliantly. They both go hand in hand. There will come many times when you will get confused whether it’s a Suspense Genre or a Romance. But they didn’t do any injustice to either of the two genres
The one thing that makes the drama an exceptional one is the element of Horror that will come from time to time to fetch your attention. I mean you just can’t take away your eyes off even for a minute while watching “It is Okay not to be Okay”